The 2010 List is complete! There are lots of surprises since there is so much genres here in this year. But is also good since there is music for all tastes.
1. Gazpacho – Missa Atropos
Norway’s progressive rock band delivers Missa Atropos just a year after the amazing ‘tick-tock’ saw light in last year. In this occasion they have all the right to be called part of the best prog music in the world out there. Their stile is unique and there is real musicianship skills going on around this guys.
In greek mythology, Atropos was one of the three Moirae, goddesses of fate and destiny. Atropos was the oldest of the Three Fates, and was known as the “inflexible” or “inevitable”. It was Atropos who chose the mechanism of death and ended the life of each mortal by cutting their thread with her “abhorred shears”.
To find out what a mass would be like, Gazpacho envisaged a story of a man who cuts all ties to the world and moves to a lighthouse to write a mass for Atropos and to taste true solitude. The title is also a wordplay on misanthropy which supposedly plays a part in the concept as well.
Missa Atropos is literally a journey that will allow you to explore inner feelings and personally it has become a great source of inspiration. Sometimes is sad, sometimes makes you reflective and sometimes your are simply amazed. It takes a couple of listens to get used to this magnificent concept that mixes so many things. If art is what you’re looking for, this is the right album for you.
This year was also released a Live performance called Night At Loreley that is a outstanding live compilation of the best of this band, dont forget to check it out.
2. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
Oh my god! This is something that i haven’t heard in so many years. Imagine that the psychedelia music meets the beatles and then you get the kind of stuff that Tame Impala delivers on this, their debut album.
Directly from australia, on first listen Innerspeaker provides a lot of dots to connect: There are patches of late-60’s American psychedelia, buzzy Motor City riffage, and decades of British pop. If Tame Impala can continue to make albums as good as this, we may have ourselves the newest and greatest entry into the psychedelic arsenal of artists. Innerspeaker is an album that perhaps may fall through the cracks in 2010, but don’t let it escape your ears. Sit back, relax in whatever way you like to best, get some headphones, and listen to this album now!
3. The Pineapple Thief – Someone Here is Missing
Why is that british rock bands tend to have such a good taste for composing music? The Pineapple Thief is one of those bands that has kept a constant style in their music but still evolving such style into so many new layers of complexity in composing. Someone Here Is Missing also represents The Pineapple Thief’s most fully realized work to date. The songs on this album are more tightly constructed and exquisitely recorded than anything the band has done up until this point, while at the same time sacrificing none of their prog-rock.
The production on this album is also absolutely fabulous — often recalling the sort of channel separation that once made you want to lie in a closed-off room smack dab in the middle of a pair of Speakerlab towers back in the halcyon days of vinyl albums. In other words, do not download this album — at least not in those poor sounding MP3 formats. This is music that is meant to be played on a proper stereo system, and quite loudly at that.
4. In Mourning – Monolith
After the excellent break through in the scene back in 2007 with the album Shrouded Divine, comes up this follow-up Monolith that keeps mostly the same style that its predecessor came to establish with some slight markups: this time our Swedish friends are notably cutting back a bit on the complex and progressive arrangements, making the sound a little more accessible and more pleasurable to listen to. Even more than on the debut, the band relies on chugging riffs, catchy hooks, sudden tempo/vocal changes and beautiful melodies to get things going.
Though I doubt In Mourning are quite good enough to draw comparisons to Opeth, I can say that this Swedish band is probably one of the best new bands that metal has seen in recent years; and so our attention must still be with them on future releases.
5. Lunatic Soul – Lunatic Soul II
As some of you may know, lunatic soul is the solo studio project from RIVERSIDE’s bass guitarist and vocalist Mariusz Duda. If you liked the first one, you’re gonna love the second delivery. While there are similarities, the differences between them are evident. In this album, many different and strange sounds are used to create an eerie, wandering sort of ambient. But mostly, the music conveys a sense of drama throughout that is oddly, but pleasingly quite compelling.
Again we accompany Duda on his journey through life after death. Because of all the emotions that come past it is a rather tumultuous trip. From opener ‘The In-Between Kingdom’ you are lead through sadness, indifference, trances, madness and anger. After listening to this record, one almost has to conclude that multi-instrumentalist Mariusz Duda is a profound man and has a very creative mind. And also that Riverside does not allow him to fully express his for his creativity.
6. As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise
Since i heard the debut album of As I lay Dying I knew this band was different. Nowadays there is so much kids that are pretending to play metal around. Their music ends up being just a template filler of a so predictive music structure that before finishing the song you already know whats coming up next. As I lay Dying is one of the recent bands that actually innovates in music sound, talking about metalcore genre of course. An Ocean between Us was quite a success in consolidating this band as mainstream in the scene, but then comes The Powerless Rise that throws some sort a curve ball to the fans by cnanging a little bit the structure of the genre, allowing themselves to explore new facets that after a few listens they start to match perfectly with the band. Sure, it’s taken five albums to get it right, but As I Lay Dying have finally created a beast of an album that is on par with the hyperbolic amount of acclaim they have garnered for themselves in the metal world.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy Soundtrack
Is is actually rare that an electronic genre music album gets into my final list. Yet however here comes Daft Punk with this cool soundtrack that is full of innovative sounds and orchestral blending with the electronic music. Not even being a fan of daft punk or Tron itself i was skeptical, but after paying attention to the music of Tron: Legacy is amazingly listenable, no matter where or how you are hearing it. When played in the background during a study session or as office music, you won’t have quiet periods where little is heard to fill the empty spaces, nor will you hear jarring string section attacks to throw off your focus.
8. Foals – Total Life Forever
It is the second album of this british band. I have never heard of them and after this album i had to go back and listen to their debut album Antidote. Some people will find this madness. Others perhaps their album of the year. Overall this is a wonderfully crafted, intricate album, showing musical maturity, experimentation and guts. It may not ever be labelled as a classic but it is an extremely worthy addition to any record collection. It shows bravery and determination and a desire to be different and not to make music for the hell of it, but for the love of it.
9. Kalmah – 12th Gauge
I already talked about this album too much in this blog, and of course it needed to reach the final 2010 list. After the slightly above-average For The Revolution, Kalmah really pulled out all the stops and delivered a bombshell of an album, one which is most definitely one of the best of their career, and a perfect point from which to move onward. Melodic death metal isn’t completely hopeless, because Kalmah are keeping the genre moving along with a no-bull*** album that simply delivers in every single aspect. Melodeath is alive!!
10. Anathema – We’re here because we’re here
And last but not least.
Seven years took Anathema to release this album. It’s true that the band is never going to produce Judgement again, so get that out of your head right now. But what Anathema produces in 2010 is just as relevant and interesting as Judgement was in 1999 and A Fine Day to Exit was in 2001. What we have is a really cohesive album, emotional, passionate and absorbing. I don’t believe that Anathema have reached their personal summit yet, this band will continue to push forward leaving genres behind and paving their own path. The albums is great, and having in mind that i still expect much more from these guys, the album reaches this top ten list because the music stands of its own.